The purpose of the program is to accelerate the planning and implementation of prescribed grazing systems, targeting impaired watersheds. The project will cost share the implementation of prescribed grazing projects and individual grazing practices as part of a system. Eligible practices include fencing, crossings, watering systems and pasture planting. The program will strive to compliment projects that have been awarded additional cost-share funds through EQIP, DEP and CREP as well as stand alone projects. Matching funds with local, state, federal, or private cost share is encouraged, with a goal of maximizing resources to benefit landowners.
First preference will be given to projects within agriculturally-impaired watersheds, those that include streams and those converting from (in order of priority) high-till cropland, low-till cropland, hayland, alfalfa and unimproved pasture. Eligible applications will consist of those projects that will be implementing a grazing plan to USDA-NRCS standards.
Since 1985, the York County Conservation District has been offering cost share and technical assistance to landowners and farmers with critical nutrient management, water quality, and soil erosion concerns. Planning and technical advice is provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and conservation district planners and technicians.
Soil and water are the farmers’ most important resources. Poor water quality and the loss of soil nutrients directly affect the profitability of a farm operation. An Ag E&S or conservation plan determines what problems need to be addressed and what to do fix the problems, commonly referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs). Installing BMPs keep nutrients where they belong, control soil erosion, improve animal health, improve local water quality, and improve Chesapeake Bay water quality.
BMPs are specialized practices designed to control soil erosion, manure and nutrient runoff, store animal wastes, establish vegetation, and manage the application of animal waste and fertilizer. The conservation plan for your farm will include some combination of practices that address your particular situation. Common practices include:
The conservation district has cost share funding through various programs. These include Conservation Excellence Grants and the Exelon Habitat Improvement Program. Each program has its own rules. The USDA NRCS office also offers various federal assistance programs. All district programs require an application for assistance which is presented to the York County Conservation District Board for acceptance.